So with all of this being the reality for us, I'm sure even the most ignorant and rabid racist, in a short fit of logical thinking, can understand how we Africans would serve as the most obvious customer base for this new DNA test that can tell us where we come from. That's not saying everyone else wouldn't want to do it also. Its just saying that no one else have the experiences we have. Like the humiliating one I experienced in the 5th grade when my teacher asked us to ask our families where we came from before coming to the U.S. I asked my parents, but all they knew was Louisiana. And they didn't have the context to put that in its proper historical place so when I had to deliver on the assignment, and I panicked and placed my flag in the country of Poland, that wasn't fun. I will always remember the deep laughter that filled that room, including that of my teacher. I will never forget how I felt like I was nothing. So, a DNA test to discover your origins would be something that appeals to a wide range of people, but it is the Africans who would have a drive beaten up from our souls to obtain this information.
Unfortunately, for our poor and suffering people again, this DNA test is not an answer for us. The biggest problem is these tests are products and like every other product in the capitalist system the objective of the companies offering these tests is to make money. Consequently, they will market these tests to do just that. And like any marketing job, when you break it down, you can easily determine that there is much missing from the advertising message. In other words, heritage and/or history, is much different than just the biological strands that run through your blood stream. And that's all DNA is. The blood strains that run through you. Think about it. People have babies with people all the time for all types of reasons, often not good ones. As a result, many of these people and their families don't end up playing significant roles in the lives of the children they produce. If this isn't happening than all that person can represent in your history is a one off biological participation trophy. This is certainly not the pedigree that defines who you are, but that's what you get from DNA testing. So when they tell you that you are 75% West African and 20% British, all that probably means is some British colonizer/rapists played their role in your families colonial and oppressed history, but in my view, it would be absurd to claim that this 20% is any part of the definition of your identity.
Your identity is always much more than the biological components that add(ed) seed to your family's physical legacy. Your identity is the culture that your family and your people established to define and carve out your existence in the conditions they struggled to push your people through. This is what legacy is. How they did that and the methods they contributed in the process. This is much more than who laid down and slept with who and it can never be reduced to just that. So, if I was some of you, that's why I'd define my identity as that 75% West African who I know fought against our subjugation as a people, including against that 20% British colonizer/rapist. Its a political definition of my history and identity because the biological one can never properly define who I am today. I know nothing, nor do I need or desire to know, about that 20% British colonizer/rapist other than that they are the reason I'm sitting where I'm sitting today. I also don't have a burning desire to have to know if that 75% is Wolof, Yoruba, Fante, Mandinka, or Fulani. They all fought - together - for our dignity. This is I know because I'm here. And the fact I'm here is proof that somebody survived rape and brutality to allow us to continue. Someone survived beatings and brutality so we could survive. I don't need a test to tell me that because my history has already done that. The minute I stepped off the plane in Africa I knew that. Malcolm, Marcus, Harriet, Kwame, Sekou, Patrice, Amilcar, Assata, and Carmen, already told me that.
Since this is such an emotionally charged issue, I realize many people who read this will miss 60% of the point here. They will read that they are being attacked for getting an DNA test so let me try and make that point clear. Some of you may have some definite scientific information on that 20% that confirms they could have played a positive role in your history. If that's the case, obviously, you should claim that and the scenario above wouldn't apply, but overwhelmingly, most of you who are Africans know absolutely nothing about any other strains that run through your DNA (or the African ones for that matter) so you will need to closely examine that and let science and history guide you on that, not emotions. Either way, if you want to go ahead and buy the test do it. If that makes you feel better to get one than do it. The point here is that a DNA test isn't going to tell you who your people are, only who most of them slept with. Who your people are is much more complex than that and you shouldn't sell yourself short on that very critical question. Me? Don't look for me to be getting a test. I don't need it. I've known who I am and who we are for quite some time now.